Thursday, June 19, 2003

Reds notebook: Junior gets extended rest

Outfielder might miss today's game with groin strain

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Ken Griffey Jr. wasn't in the lineup again Wednesday, and it's looking as if he might miss today's game as well.

Reds manager Bob Boone said Tuesday that Griffey would start Wednesday. But Griffey was still feeling weakness in his groin/hip area.

"I'm pretty paranoid about him," Boone said. "If he doesn't have his legs, we see his swing get long. We know when he's rested his legs come back."

That's why Boone is inclined to sit Griffey again today.

"I'm leaning toward that," he said. "Because of the day game (today) we've got a another game in 12 hours.

"I also have a pretty good alternative."

Boone was referring to Jose Guillen, who made his second straight start Wednesday.

Griffey was examined by Dr. Tim Kremchek Wednesday, and underwent an MRI that revealed a groin strain. He is listed as day-to-day.

Griffey did not take batting practice with the team. Instead, he hit off his father, Ken Sr., in the cage.

"It helps going lefty on lefty," Griffey said. "With a right-hander, you see it so well that you get out in front."

NO WORD: General Manager Jim Bowden briefly spoke to Adam Dunn and Sean Casey on the field before Wednesday's game.

He was not giving them the news of their anticipated suspensions for Friday's fight with Philadelphia.

"We still haven't heard," Casey said. "(Bowden) said we'll probably hear (today)."

CASTRO CASE: Juan Castro has never been ejected or fined in his big-league career and he's known as a mild-mannered guy.

So imagine his shock when home plate umpire Joe West told him he was going to be fined for throwing his helmet at West in the ninth inning of Tuesday's game.

"I was mad at myself for popping up," Castro said. "I just (flipped the helmet down). If I threw it at him, I would have gotten a little closer."

Boone was ejected arguing on Castro's behalf.

TRADING PLACE: Danny Graves was OK with being pushed back a day so Paul Wilson can start today's game against the Cubs.

Graves will start Friday instead.

"I'm fine with that," he said. "I think it will work out well for both of us. Paul only threw 30 or 40 pitches Sunday (in the rainout). The extra 24 hours might help me. They certainly won't hurt."

Graves is still dealing with a blister problem. He had to leave the game two starts ago because of a blood blister on his middle finger. He was limited to five innings in last start.

"It's great," he said. "It's like there's nothing there."

"We hope we've got it licked," Boone said.

FARM REPORT: Todd Van Poppel, the Reds' recent signee, pitched three scoreless innings to get the win in Triple-A Louisville's 9-4 victory over Columbus. Brandon Larson had hits in both games to extend his hitting streak to 22 games.

UP NEXT: Wilson (4-4, 4.48 ERA) faces Cubs ace Mark Prior (8-2, 2.71) in the finale of the four-game series. The Reds and the Cubs don't meet again until Sept. 12-14.

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